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PostMay 9th Has Come and Gone; War Rages On (Consoly Leon Arias, Spain / Canary, 05/12/22 4:15 am)
May 9 is over, and the Russian invasion has not come to an end, as Pope Francis dared to comment at some point, after having a conversation with the Hungarian president Viktor Orbán. Evidently, this was not the plan of the Russian autocrat. Putin's plan was a lightning operation, which would collect Kyiv as the first trophy, and with it, the government that embodies the country's independence.
With that stroke, and the installation of a puppet government, the way would have been cleared for Ukraine becoming a vassal state--a type of maneuver that the Russian autocrats of the 19th century already tried in the area. Putin, who pretends to be a historian, is presumably aware of these precedents, although not in sufficient depth. The expansionist movement aimed at gaining access to the Mediterranean that provoked the Crimean War in the middle of that century ended with the defeat of Russia. It lost to an alliance in which the United Kingdom and France took the lead.
Putin's plan went awry when Ukraine, against all odds, resisted with true warrior ardor, and put up a fight. Perhaps Putin took for granted that since Ukraine has been a sovereign state for a little over two decades, it is not really a nation, or has not been given time to gel. But if it had not been completely consolidated, the Russian invasion has definitely made it solid and strong, at least in the minds of the Ukrainians, who courageously resist the attacks of the Russian army, while growing up in adversity, and showing the world the love for their country, their origins and roots. It is the emergence of a clear national identity, forged with blood and fire, in the heat of battle. A 77-day offensive, which has neither succeeded nor will succeed in overcoming the feelings of the Ukrainians towards their land, their history, traditions and customs. Simply because of that, they have already won.
Pope Francis said that Orbán had told him that the Russians had a plan. However, the only plan of the tyrant Putin that is visible and verifiable is called destruction, and this Machiavellian plan of elevating this carnage to a historic mission will not be sustainable for long. Putin, who has, trying to emulate tsars, such as Nicholas I, who did not hesitate to reduce Poland to a simple Russian province, through repression, did not count at any time on the unity of the Ukrainian people, which have been forged in times of war their true national identity, and against that feeling, there is no one who can.
Ukraine is already a nation reduced to ashes, but it will never cease to be a nation. It has demonstrated this over more than 2 months, waging a war of independence against Russia, which at that time, it has already won.
JE comments: Putin did and presumably still does have a plan, but it hasn't worked. Plans have a way of doing that.
"Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished"--countless commentators have cited the poignancy of the national anthem, which evokes tenacity but also victimhood. The crucible of war has always been the default event for creating a national identity. But Ukraine already had plenty of it (identity) prior to February 24th. Now it's not fighting a war of independence, but of survival.